Andy Flower expresses RCB's special wish for Virat Kohli after he retires from T20Is: 'To see a guy in his mid-30s do that…'

Virat Kohli had a glorious end to his T20 career on Saturday as Team India defeated South Africa in a dramatic final in Barbados to lift the T20 World Cup. The Indian batsman, who had a quiet outing throughout the tournament, came up with a stellar performance in the crucial title clash and scored a crucial 76 after India's top order was bowled out inside the powerplay after being asked to bat first.

India's Virat Kohli celebrates their T20 World Cup win (AFP)

Kohli, who opened the innings with skipper Rohit Sharma, struggled to put runs on the board throughout the 2024 edition as he adopted an aggressive approach. However, with wickets falling in quick succession in the final, the situation demanded a steady hand to handle the innings and stabilise the team. Kohli, experienced in such high-pressure scenarios, understood this requirement very well.

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He, along with Axar Patel (47), helped steady the Indian innings and took India to a respectable 176/7 in 20 overs. Kohli was named Player of the Match after India's win and in a conversation with broadcaster Star Sports, he emphasised on the need to reinvent his game to fit in with the aggressive philosophy of the Rohit Sharma-led Indian team.

Royal Challengers Bangalore coach Andy Flower, who worked with Kohli in the recent Indian Premier League, acknowledged the Indian batsman's illness and spoke about changing his batting approach. Flower praised Kohli's “hunger” and his desire to push himself, knowing well that this was his last tournament in the format.

“What a great way to exit T20Is. He had a fantastic IPL, didn't he? He showed what he can do. I should say… I've said it before, but I'll repeat it because it's important. To see a guy in his mid-30s who has done so much in the world game and the IPL, push himself to improve his game even further was really impressive at this stage of his career,” Flower said. ESPNcricinfo.

“It shows the depth of his hunger and desire to do better, to push himself and his team for the betterment. I've loved watching that. I can't disagree with Sanjay (Manjrekar) that Tests and ODIs are his favourite games. But he has been a fantastic T20 cricketer, it's been a really great experience to watch him play. Hopefully we'll see him excel in whatever T20 cricket he has left.”

Kohli became the second highest run scorer in T20 International

Virat Kohli has been the backbone of India's batting for a large part of his T20I career; he scored 4188 runs in 125 matches at an impressive average of 48.69. Rohit Sharma also called time on his T20I career and retired as the highest run-scorer in the format with 4231 runs in 159 matches.

Stay updated with the latest cricket news, T20 World Cup 2024 updates and match highlights. Check out the World Cup 2024 schedule, keep track of the World Cup points table, track Virat Kohli's performance and stay updated with World Cup most wickets and World Cup most runs stats on the Hindustan Times website and app.

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